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6 Ways To Educate Your Kids About Home Security

6 Ways To Educate Your Kids About Home Security

As parents, we understand the importance of educating our children on how to navigate the many dangers that are out there. If your clothes catch fire, you stop, drop, and roll. If an earthquake starts, you get under a sturdy desk. If you got into a bicycle accident[1], seek immediate help. If a guy in a windowless van offers you a ride to the candy store, you should probably run for the hills.

Yes, we try to cover all of the essentials, but what about the importance of home security? If we’re being completely honest, how many of us are actually taking the time to educate our kids about what to do during a home invasion and how to avoid an invasion in the first place? Take a look at the following list and see how many of these topics have been adequately covered in your household.

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Operating the Alarm System

If you have a home security system installed, it’s important that your children understand how to operate it. They should know how to arm and disarm the system, how to activate the panic siren, and how to manage other basic functions. If you use a third-party monitoring service, your children should also be made aware of the unique password used to confirm your identity. Finally, as Devin Ortiz from TechMSD says, “Remember to educate your children not only as to how the security system is used, but also why”.

Locking Doors

Kids will be kids, and today’s kids are more distracted than ever before. What with all the video games, i-gadgets, and text conversations, it’s a wonder that our children ever find the front door at all. But certain habits and routines should never be neglected, and an unlocked door is an invasion invitation. It’s not enough to have a Doberman Pinscher or Pomeranian Husky[2] guarding your house because they can only do so much. You also need to teach your kids to always lock doors after entering and exiting and remind them as many times as it takes to drive the point home. If you’re persistent enough, the habit will ultimately become a reflex.

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911 Call

Hopefully your kids already understand how to call 911 in an emergency, but if you have never actually created an opportunity to sit down and have the conversation, don’t just assume that they know the drill. Talk to them. Establish an emergency procedure. Answer their questions. The key is to establish emergency preparedness without inciting fear.

Social Media

Don’t assume that your kids are simply playing games or watching shows on their mini gadgets. The majority of 10- to 12-year-olds today use social media despite the age limitation rules set by social media sites and your kids might not be aware that many burglars use social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook to plan their robberies. They might also not be aware that child predators lurk on these sites. If your kids just love their status updates, tweets, and pins, make sure to closely monitor their online activity and instill within them practical information for staying safe. Again, it’s not about making them fearful; it’s about teaching them common sense when looking to ensure their safety.

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Communicating with Strangers at the Door

This is a touchy subject, because on one hand, you never want your kids opening the door for strangers, and on the other hand, you never want the bad guys to think that nobody’s home. Burglars will often disguise themselves as solicitors and go door-to-door looking for vacant homes, or fishing for information about your home security system or daily routine. When it comes to your kids, the best solution is to install a peephole. Your children can always check to see who’s at the door without leaving themselves vulnerable. In the event that one of your kids is home alone, they should always indicate to strangers that a parent is on the phone or in the shower.

What to Do During a Home Invasion

Now for the million-dollar question: what should your child do when the unthinkable happens? Your house is broken into and the burglars are inside. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question because there are many factors that will determine the optimal safety plan:

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  • the layout of the house,
  • the number of people who live inside the home, and
  • whether or not you have a home security system in place (just to name a few).

The important thing is that you establish an emergency strategy for such an occasion and make sure that everyone in the house is privy to the plan with plenty of gadgets to grab on out of the toolbox. Give your kids a firm foundation of safety preparedness and you’ll all sleep a little easier at night.

Reference

[1] Ray & Heatherman: What To Do When You Get Into Bicycle Accident
[2] HuskyShepherd: About Pomeranian Husky

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Published on January 30, 2019

How to Support a Working Mother as a Working Father

How to Support a Working Mother as a Working Father

In roughly 60 percent of two-parent households with children under the age of 18, both parents work full time. But who takes time off work when the kids are sick in your house? And if you are a manager, how do you react when a man says he needs time to take his baby to the pediatrician?

The sad truth is, the default in many companies and families is to value the man’s work over the woman’s—even when there is no significant difference in their professional obligations or compensation. This translates into stereotypes in the workplace that women are the primary caregivers, which can negatively impact women’s success on the job and their upward mobility.

According to a Pew Research Center analysis of long-term time-use data (1965–2011), fathers in dual-income couples devote significantly less time than mothers do to child care.[1] Dads are doing more than twice as much housework as they used to (from an average of about four hours per week to about 10 hours), but there is still a significant imbalance.

This is not just an issue between spouses; it’s a workplace culture issue. In many offices, it is still taboo for dads to openly express that they have family obligations that need their attention. In contrast, the assumption that moms will be on the front lines of any family crisis is one that runs deep.

Consider an example from my company. A few years back, one of our team members joined us for an off-site meeting soon after returning from maternity leave. Not even two hours into her trip, her husband called to say that the baby had been crying nonstop. While there was little our colleague could practically do to help with the situation, this call was clearly unsettling, and the result was that her attention was divided for the rest of an important business dinner.

This was her first night away since the baby’s birth, and I know that her spouse had already been on several business trips before this event. Yet, I doubt she called him during his conferences to ask child-care questions. Like so many moms everywhere, she was expected to figure things out on her own.

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The numbers show that this story is far from the exception. In another Pew survey, 47 percent of dual-income parents agreed that the moms take on more of the work when a child gets sick.[2] In addition, 39 percent of working mothers said they had taken a significant amount of time off from work to care for their child compared to just 24 percent of working fathers. Mothers are also more likely than fathers (27 percent to 10 percent) to say they had quit their job at some point for family reasons.

Before any amazing stay-at-home-dads post an angry rebuttal comment, I want to be very clear that I am not judging how families choose to divide and conquer their personal and professional responsibilities; that’s 100 percent their prerogative. Rather, I am taking aim at the culture of inequity that persists even when spouses have similar or identical professional responsibilities. This is an important issue for all of us because we are leaving untapped business and human potential on the table.

What’s more, I think my fellow men can do a lot about this. For those out there who still privately think that being a good dad just means helping out mom, it’s time to man up. Stop expecting working partners—who have similar professional responsibilities—to bear the majority of the child-care responsibilities as well.

Consider these ways to support your working spouse:

1. Have higher expectations for yourself as a father; you are a parent, not a babysitter.

Know who your pediatrician is and how to reach him or her. Have a back-up plan for transportation and emergency coverage.

Don’t simply expect your partner to manage all these invisible tasks on her own. Parenting takes effort and preparation for the unexpected.

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As in other areas of life, the way to build confidence is to learn by doing. Moms aren’t born knowing how to do this stuff any more than dads are.

2. Treat your partner the way you’d want to be treated.

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard a man on a business trip say to his wife on a call something to the effect of, “I am in the middle of a meeting. What do you want me to do about it?”

However, when the tables are turned, men often make that same call at the first sign of trouble.

Distractions like this make it difficult to focus and engage with work, which perpetuates the stereotype that working moms aren’t sufficiently committed.

When you’re in charge of the kids, do what she would do: Figure it out.

3. When you need to take care of your kids, don’t make an excuse that revolves around your partner’s availability.

This implies that the children are her first priority and your second.

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I admit I have been guilty in the past of telling clients, “I have the kids today because my wife had something she could not move.” What I should have said was, “I’m taking care of my kids today.”

Why is it so hard for men to admit they have personal responsibilities? Remember that you are setting an example for your sons and daughters, and do the right thing.

4. As a manager, be supportive of both your male and female colleagues when unexpected situations arise at home.

No one likes or wants disruptions, but life happens, and everyone will face a day when the troubling phone call comes from his sitter, her school nurse, or even elderly parents.

Accommodating personal needs is not a sign of weakness as a leader. Employees will be more likely to do great work if they know that you care about their personal obligations and family—and show them that you care about your own.

5. Don’t keep score or track time.

At home, it’s juvenile to get into debates about who last changed a diaper or did the dishes; everyone needs to contribute, but the big picture is what matters. Is everyone healthy and getting enough sleep? Are you enjoying each other’s company?

In business, too, avoid the trap of punching a clock. The focus should be on outcomes and performance rather than effort and inputs. That’s the way to maintain momentum toward overall goals.

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The Bottom Line

To be clear, I recognize that a great many working dads are doing a terrific job both on the home front and in their professional lives. My concern is that these standouts often aren’t visible to their colleagues; they intentionally or inadvertently let their work as parents fly under the radar. Dads need to be open and honest about family responsibilities to change perceptions in the workplace.

The question “How do you balance it all?” should not be something that’s just asked of women. Frankly, no one can answer that question. Juggling a career and parental responsibilities is tough. At times, really tough.

But it’s something that more parents should be doing together, as a team. This can be a real bonus for the couple relationship as well, because nothing gets in the way of good partnership faster than feelings of inequity.

On the plus side, I can tell you that parenting skills really do get better with practice—and that’s great for people of both sexes. I think our cultural expectations that women are the “nurturers” and men are the “providers” needs to evolve. Expanding these definitions will open the doors to richer contributions from everyone, because women can and should be both—and so should men.

Featured photo credit: NeONBRAND via unsplash.com

Reference

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